It may be the month of Halloween, but for filmmakers Kin Lui and AJ Ovio it’s always a good time to scare [full disclosure: Lui is a freelance contributor to Wendoh Media, the parent company of Vegas Seven]. This summer the duo teamed up with Crypt TV, a Los Angeles-based horror film company that boasts Eli Roth as one of its founders, to create what’s become one of the storytelling platform’s more popular shorts to date, The Chosen.
Following the bloody story of a young girl blinded by the voice of a dark demon, The Chosen pulls elements from classic scare tactics such as slasher and cultist films as well as horror fiction writer icon H. P. Lovecraft-style twists.
“In a way, it’s a love letter to horror films,” Ovio says. “It has this way that it evolves where you’re unsure [where the story is going to go].”
Lui and Ovio both served as cinematographers, while Ovio also co-wrote the film. Their production company, Creative Ctrl, used an all local cast and crew to complete the project—something the guys take pride in. Both feel that sourcing locations and teams in Las Vegas is easier than production hub L.A., and still see the value as top notch. For them, it’s the emphasis they place on the relationships and experience on set.
“It’s about the personalities that come and enrich each other,” Ovio says. “When you’re open to creating this [storytelling] nothing but [good] can come.”
The Chosen came to Crypt TV thanks to its director and co-writer Nicholas VanDevender. He and Ovio brought the story to the team at Crypt TV and worked on it this summer, ultimately airing August 8. The fruits of their labor paid off—the short has more than 1.4 million views on Facebook and 200,000 views on YouTube.
With the traction of The Chosen, Lui and Ovio are putting their efforts into building Creative Ctrl. “It’s an artist-driven production company that will evolve into fully fledged indie film studio,” Lui says. And as for their success on Crypt TV, Lui isn’t quite ready to take full credit. He adds, “There was obviously a lot of luck involved for us.”